Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hello from Glasgow!

Well well well....

I think the fact that this is my first post since I've created this blog is pretty good proof that I am not good at this whole blogging thing. To be honest I dont know why I thought having a blog would improve my documenting skills.. However! I decided that I no longer have a choice in the matter, I WILL be blogging at least once a week now my dear friends! Kinda like when your mom would make you sit down and practice the piano, I am making myself sit down and write about whats going on here in the great city of Glasgow!

Man oh man.. I dont even know where to begin!! I have officially been gone from the great US of A for a month, and in Glasgow for three weeks! After a week of touring England we arrived in Glasgow, and moved me and my two humongous suitcases (weighing 63 and 67 lbs thank you very much) into my flat at the University of Strathclyde. Six of us live here at dear Birkbeck Court! My flatmates are a lot of fun, we all get along great. Tezera is from the Czech Republic, Paula is from Canada, Samaa is from Holland, Lyn is from Malaysia, and Sylvia is from Italy. It's a great mix if I do say so myself! Basically all of Birkbeck Court is international students, so I am meeting lots and lots of international people. My room is tiny!! But its not bad, I've managed to shove my clothes around so they all fit haha. We have a kitchen/living room area and one shower "cubical" , one toilet, and three sinks. Surprisingly its not bad! The stove in the kitchen is so cute haha. Its about half the size of the ones I'm used to back home! Luckily I dont cook extravagant things much so its not much of a problem for me haha. My Italian flatmate Sylvia doesnt like it very much though, she is a big cook and likes to have the space she needs! Seriously, she cooks the best stuff. I love it because she lets me sample!

So school has been in for about two weeks! It is so different here! At first it was very stressful for me. The system is a lot more laid back compared to USU. But it has begun to work out and I think I will enjoy all my classes. I can only take three classes a semester though, so I have a lot of free time! I got to lectures on Tuesday and Thursday, then I have three tutorials(smaller version of the class to go over class material) every two weeks. I'm taking Intermediate Microeconomics, Work and Organizational Psychology, and Management of Business Processes. So far so good! I really enjoy my Econ class, the professor explains things very well. However he stutters. As if understanding his accent wasn't enough of a struggle for me, he had to go and add a stutter in!! Haha it should be interesting. The style of learning is different here, they dont have require a lot of course work or assessments. Basically the focus is on the final exam which in some cases is 80 percent of your grade. Talk about stressful!!! Lets pray I dont botch the final, else I will be coming back in August to resit the exam!

I am truly loving it here in Scotland! It is absolutely gorgeous! I have never seen so many shades of green in my life haha. Honestly, I just cant soak up enough of the beautiful scenery! The people here in Glasgow are extremely nice as well. I wasn't really expecting strangers to be so helpful, so this was a nice surprise. Ive had to ask many a stranger directions and every single time they have been so willing to point me in the right direction. Haha which is good, assuming I can understand the accent! Me and my flatmate Paula went on a journey to find a Tesco Extra(basically a super store - non existent in the city) about a week ago, and we asked five different people for directions, and we could only understand three of them. I'm starting to understand the accent a little more these days! Woohoo! Its funny, sometimes I have to seriously concentrate on what people are saying else I wont comprehend what they are saying. I find myself just nodding and then walking away thinking "what in the world did they just say to me..?". I feel bad for my roommates who are learning english - I dont know how they are surviving. I'm a fluent english speaker and I still dont understand haha.

So besides my flatmates I hang out with people from the church lot! I really like church here, its different with it being so much smaller. But in a way it makes it more special that way. The church members here are so incredibly nice! They have been so great to me. Ross has showed me around the city which was super helpful at first. I didn't have a clue where anything was or how to get around the city at all! Because of the church I felt like I had friends right from the get go, I am so grateful for that. My first couple days here I felt so lonely, it was actually really hard for me. I wasn't expecting it to be so hard to go from being surround by people who care about you and what happens in your life to nothing! Having the church is a huge blessing, not only for because people welcome you without question, but also its so nice to be around people who have the same standards.

I feel like I am kinda topic jumping like crazy here, but I just have so much to say!! Ya for those of you who dont know who Ross is let me explain.. He served in the same mission as Tyler and he saw my picture and wrote me a letter back when I was still in high school. He told me he was from Scotland so I actually wrote him back and we began writing every so often. Long story short he lives in Dumbarton which is right outside of Glasgow, and he got home from his mission the first week in September - the same week I flew to London. He goes to the University of Glasgow which is in the west side of Glasgow, and he is studying languages! So yes its kinda crazy how it worked out, but I'm not complaining, it was great to have a personal tour guide haha. Thanks Ross!

So my flatmate Paula is really into traveling as well, so we are going to plan a trip! I'm so excited, we can get really cheap flights here so it wont even be expensive. Its nice though, she always wants to go explore places so I have someone to travel with! We took the train to this cute little town, Ayr, on the west coast of Scotland last weekend. It was such a cute place. We got to wander around the niffty streets and take pictures of the ornate buildings. We also went down to the beach and there was a big open park and a little amusement park right on the beach. It was so nice to see the ocean, and luckily it was raining! People were para-sailing in the ocean, it was cool! Haha and of course my camera dies a few pictures into the trip, so I wasn't able to capture how pretty it was. There was a cute little fish and chips shop on the coast, so we went there and got food. I have yet to get fish and chips haha. I'm nervous it wont be good!! Maybe next time I go to the coast I will get them though. Haha and dont worry I shall document it!

This weekend there was a Scotland YSA trip down to the Preston temple. There are five stakes in Scotland, so there was about 70 people that went. It was so much fun! We left Glasgow friday night, got to the accommodation at the temple about 11. Then Saturday was spent at the temple. I just did baptisms, but it was nice, Ross was able to baptize me and I had about five names. The temple was very peaceful as usual, and it was beautiful inside. After the temple a bunch of us went to a pub to eat lunch, then that night we went to Blackpool. It was so cool!! Haha it was actually a pretty cheesy place, but it was fun to walk around on the coast. Basically this city just has a bunch of amusement parks on the piers, so we walked along that with all the lights at night and it was cool. We went to a karaoke bar, which was hilarious. Oh the characters you find at these bars hahaha. There was a "hen" night going on and the ladies were just going crazy. A hen night is just a bachelorette party but they all dress up and go wild! We got kicked out though cause we weren't drinking anything. But it was still a good time! This morning we had a good sacrament and testimony meeting then headed back up to Glasgow. It was really enjoyable, and a great time to get to know people.

Well my friends this is an extremely long post and if you survived I am thoroughly impressed!! I hope it didn't bore you to much, I just needed to get you all caught up to the present! I will be keeping you posted more frequently though, so hopefully the next one will be a wee bit better... but until then love you all!! Xoxo :)